A Timeline of Instructional Media and Instructional Design

  • Instructional Design: Defining the Objective

    It was at the turn of the century that designers first considered the use of an objective as necessary to the design process. Babbi, Chatrs and Banks would set the stage for discussion about the importance of the objective and how to define it for learners.
  • Instructional Media: School Museums

    With the opening of the first portable visual exhibits in St. Louis in 1905, schools museums represented media as supplemental instructional content.
  • Instructional Media: The Visual Education Movement

    The visual education movement, emerging in 1908 and thriving through the early 20s, reflected a growing interest in using media in schools including the magic lantern projector and stereopticons ( not to be confused with a Transformer character). This period also so saw the publication of the first educational film catalog, the organization of 5 national professional associations, and the emergence of 5 journals chronicling the field.
  • Instructional Media: The Audiovisual Movement

    Advances in sound production augmented interest in audiovisual supplements for instruction. Leaders in the trend included McCluskey; however, like the general visual movement that came before, the audiovisual trend had very limited growth and impact, in part due to funding and the economic devastaion of the Great Depression.
  • Instructional Media: The Emergence of Leaders

    A decade before, leaders in the field had begun to collaborate and organize into professional associations. In 1932, 3 of these national organizations merged to create what would become the leading body in the field of ID & T for the next 80+ years: The Association for Educational Communications and Technology (AECT).
  • Instructional Design: Ralph Tyler and the Objective

    Ralph Tyler, an emerging leader in the field of design, conducts an 8 year study about how to define the learning objective in terms of behavior. This would impact and be revisited by the likes of Skinner, Gagne, Bloom and others.
  • Instructional Media: Visualizing the Curriculum

    Hoban, Hoban and Zissman published this text and, in doing so, defined the value of [visual] media based on its ability to present ideas in concrete representations.
  • Instructional Media: World War II

    During the 1940s, the incorporation of media for instructional purposes flourished as a means of efficient training in the military. Likewise, many media devices were developed for this purpose including the overhead projector, slide projector, audio equipment and simulators. Business and industry, too, began to utilize like media to train workers as part of the war effort.
  • Instructional Design: The Products of WWII

    In the context of the war effort, ID leaders including Gagne, Flanagan, and Briggs conduct research around theories of instruction, learning and human behavior, which would have a lasting impact on the ID field. The American Institute of Research is formed, and a focus on analysis, design and evaluation, like Robert Miller's task analysis methodology, beccomes the emphasis of the decade. This work is summarized in Psychological Principles in System Development, published at the end of the deca
  • Instructional Media: The Cone of Experience

    Edgar Dale's Cone of Experience more fully develops the earlier Visualizing the Curriculum by giving value to visual media based on how concretely it can represent a concept or idea.
  • Instructional Media: Models of Communications

    The 50s brought the development of models of communication, including Shannon and Weaver's sender, receiver and medium. Dale, Finn and others began to focus on process rather than product, which invited a broader application. At the same time, the availability of and public investment in TV, including a grant by the Ford Foundation, suggested an educational potential that was never realized
  • Instructional Design: Bloom's Taxonomy

    Benjamin Bloom's work regarding a taxonomy for objectives is certainly one of the cornerstones of contemporary pedagogical studies. In the 1950s, Bloom's taxonomy classified learning objectives in terms of outcomes and behaviors, building on the earlier work Tyler and others. He theorized that there was a hierarchical relationship between all of the possible outcomes of learning. This taxonomy has since been revised by students of Bloom's.
  • Instructional Design: BF Skinner

    Skiinner published an article which revolutionized instruction by implying there could be a more empirical, scientific approach to teaching and learning. His work would contribtue to formative evaluation practices, and continues to serve as the foundation for modern instructional design practices.
  • Instructional Media: Computer Assisted Instruction

    By the 1960s, computers were beginning to emerge on the scene and innovators like Gordan Pask, Richard Atkinson and Patrick Suppes were developing computer assisted instructional language for use in public schools and higher education. However, like television and radio before it, CAI did not have the impact on education that was initially anticipated.
  • Instructional Design: Programmed Instruction Movement

    Robert Mager continues to revise theories about the learning objective and contributes to the Programmed Instruction Movement of the 1960s. His article, Preparing Objectives for Programmed Instruction, outlines 3 elements to be included when writing objectives (the desired behaviors, the conditions under which they are performed, and the criteria for success). These elements continue to be relevant today in contemporary ID theory.
  • Instructional Design: Criterion-Referenced Testing

    Building on Tyler and Flanagan's earlier work regarding objectives and assessment of learning, Robert Glasser coined the term "criterion-referenced testing" to describe assessment that can be used to define a learner's entry point into instruction or to measure the extent to which desired behaviors have been exhibited. Similarly, Gagne, Silvern and others also began connecting criterion-referenced testing to the 30+ yrs work on objective specification to produce systematic instructional models.
  • Instructional Design: The Conditions of Learning

    Gagne integrated the work on objectives, their hierarchy, and Skinner's behavioral psychology to produce The Conditions of Learning, which articulates domains of learning outcomes and events of instruction. This work is very significant to the ID field and continues to be relevant to modern theory. In particular, his idea that subordinate skills must be acquired before superordinate ones can be learned certainly influences whole-task and task specific models.
  • Instructional Design: Sputnik and Formative Evaluation

    Because of the international space race and increased funding to math and sciences, the ID field enjoyed a period of high production through the late 60s and early 70s. In particular, Michael Scriven, Lee Cronbach, and Susan markle were instrumental in creating the practice of and standards for testing instructional designs prior to implementing them, making the process of instruction more effective and efficient.
  • Instructional Design: A Paradigm Shift

    The 1970s saw a paradigm shift in more than one way. Instructional design theories began to spill into business and industry, the military, general academia, and internationally to address a variety of learning problems as chronicaled by the Journal of Instructional Development. At the same time, the behaviorist approach which had been the foundation of ID theories since the first half of the century began to shift to a more cognitive approach.
  • Instructional Media: The Personal Computer

    During the 1980s the personal computer, due to its availability and varied applications, began to saturate the field of education. The potential existed for great impact computers had minimal influence on instruction until a new generation of digital hardware and software changed things significantly.
  • Instructional Design: The Computer

    Whiles computers as instructional media may not have signficantly impacted instruction, computers as a vehicle for instructional design began to change the shape of instruction. Computer-based instruction was born.
  • Instructional Design: The Human Performance Movement

    With the influx of digital tools and media to supplement instruction, the human performance movement promoted authentic learning tasks and a broader field of application for instructional design, especially industry.
  • Instructional Media: 21st Century Skills

    The internet. Wikis. Web 2.0 resources. Tablets and smartphones. Video games and simulations. Facebook and My Space. Advances in the digital age have created greater opportunities for the use of technological media in public education, universities, the military, business and industry and internationally. Like school museums, this new technology media has set the stage for learning in the 21st century.
  • Instructional Design in the 21st Century

    Instructional design in the 21st century has flourished, facilitated by online accessibility and availability of the internet and web 2.0 resources. An increasing reliance on informal learning methods has also begun to emerge as a means of promoting performance.